At the Geneva Motor Show, the RWE energy company and Harman International put on a live demonstration of the first infotainment application specially designed for electric cars. The two companies took this opportunity to announce their plans to collaborate closely on driving the future of telematics and infotainment for electric vehicles.
The first such application developed, presented live at the show, allows customers to use the charging cable not only to charge their car, but also to download straight to the vehicle the latest podcasts, videos and other data, or to hook up with a high-speed internet connection.
“A fast data connection via the charging cable now also enables the user to download software and large quantities of data – rapidly and conveniently while the car is charging. This means that the electric car will soon be as multifunctional as a smartphone!” says Carolin Reichert, Head of E-Mobility at RWE Effizienz. “Electric car and home network will soon be closely linked – both in terms of energy usage and infotainment!”
Hans Roth, Director Global Business Development & Marketing at Harman International, adds: “Charging is becoming more intelligent – data transfer via charging cable opens up completely new possibilities for electric cars. Thanks to rapid and secure connections, we can now develop a host of new applications and services. As an active part of the intelligent electricity grid, electric vehicles offer some promising opportunities.”
Customer authentication, charging, registration of consumption and invoicing already take place automatically when the charging cable is plugged into the charging box. And now, with the help of Harman International, the Technical University of Dortmund and INSYS, RWE is working to add even more features to “intelligent charging”. The infotainment system for electric vehicles will soon be available both at the public RWE charging stations and through the intelligent RWE Autostrom charging box for the home garage. The partners are also looking into ways to synchronise the car’s audio and infotainment system with the user’s private home network.
RWE Roadshow – experiencing the world of electric cars live
The Geneva Motor Show kicks off the big RWE “Autostrom” Roadshow in 2010. After the successful E-Mobility Tour in 2009, the Essen-based energy company is taking its “filling station of the future“ on a road trip this year to present the latest developments in the area of electric cars at trade fairs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
This is a field where RWE can rely on some successful strategic partnerships. The RWE Autostrom Roadshow 2010 will be accompanied by ADAC, the Sixt car hire company and car park operator APCOA. RWE will offer roadshow visitors a chance to test drive a variety of electric cars, letting them experience up close all that the latest generation of vehicles has to offer. Drivers can choose from the Tesla Roadster, Ecocraft Pickup or Microvett 500 – the electric version of the Fiat 500.
Detlev Pätsch, COO of Sixt AG, commented on RWE’s cooperation with Sixt: “We’re looking forward to this latest phase of RWE’s Autostrom Roadshow. This year, visitors can test drive electric sports cars and see for themselves how far this technology has come. We at Sixt enjoy the reputation of a leading innovator in the car hire industry and are sending a clear message through our successful cooperation with RWE. Electric transmissions are an interesting alternative to conventional drive systems and are attracting attention from more and more drivers as fuel prices rise.”
RWE expands charging structure
RWE is doing pioneering work in creating a nationwide charging infrastructure: by the end of 2010, RWE Autostrom charging points will be available in all major German cities. By partnering with municipal utilities, RWE is furthermore driving the expansion of the charging infrastructure across wider regions as well. Today, over 240 RWE charging points all over the country already supply electric cars with “green“ power generated 100% from renewable sources. In Berlin alone, RWE is planning to increase the number of charging points to 500 by the end of 2010.
RWE has set itself the goal of making flexible “refuelling“ available wherever drivers park their cars anyway. Whether at home, at work or while shopping – parking time can be put to good use for charging the car. Through the efficient use of renewable energies, e-mobility is laying the groundwork today for improved climate protection tomorrow.
Electric cars ready for series production
Nearly every automotive manufacturer is hard at work developing electrically-driven vehicles to respond to the anticipated demand. RWE experts predict that as early as 2020 some 2.5 million electric cars will be gliding down Germany’s streets. A market breakthrough is awaited very soon in Switzerland as well. “In Switzerland, the conditions for electric cars are virtually ideal – a high level of environmental awareness and purchasing power, and short routes“, Carolin Reichert points out. “We expect to see around 500,000 electric cars in Switzerland by 2020.”
The first fully electric series vehicles will come onto the market as early as the end of 2010. A total of eight EU member states, including the United Kingdom, France and Austria, already provide support for purchasing electric vehicles. Larger volumes and innovations will open up further potential for cutting costs. In Germany, RWE is boosting the development of this market by putting together the complete package: electric car, charging infrastructure and green power supply.
Ururi wind farm due to be commissioned by the end of 2010
RWE Innogy is investing in its second onshore wind farm in Italy. The total of 13 wind turbines of the two megawatt class will be supplied by the Danish plant vendor Vestas.
The Ururi wind power plant is the second wind farm to be installed by RWE Innogy jointly with Fri-El Green Power in Italy this year. At present, RWE Innogy is erecting a 24.65 MW wind farm on Sardinia.
Paul Coffey, Chief Operating Officer of RWE Innogy, explained: "We intend to continue expanding our wind energy activities in Italy because the high growth potential makes the Italian wind power market very attractive for RWE Innogy. This does not only go for wind power, but also for our biomass activities in Italy." 4.8 GW of wind power were installed in Italy at the end of 2009. The Italian government intends to grow the installed wind energy capacity to 8 GW by 2020.